Students learn how to put research into action
Dozens of enthusiastic students attended an open house this week hosted by Claremont McKenna’s Mgrublian Center for Human Rights, Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies, and Salvatori Center for Individual Freedom, to learn about graduate-level opportunities, and to put into action what they’re learning in the classroom.
The Open House provided an inside perspective from each institute’s faculty director, as well as from students who are leading impactful research projects.
CMC’s institutes and centers – 11 in all – have specific missions, developing programs to meet academic and co-curricular objectives, and are intended to provide students with a superior liberal arts education that prepares them for thoughtful, productive lives and responsible leadership in business, government, and the professions.
For example, Keck students explore critical issues in world affairs through lecture series, conferences, research fellowships, academic travel opportunities, thesis fieldwork fellowships, research assistants, a journalism lab, a podcast program, student summer internships and professional development opportunities.
“We have lots of students interested in doing research in a variety of different ways,” said Sam Johnson-Saeger ’26, an international relations and economics dual major, who works at the Keck Center. “We offer faculty research, independent student-led research and also have a faculty-advisor to help students produce their own research product. We also host a lot of speakers, and career panels with an international relations focus. So, there’s a whole host of different ways to get involved here.”
The Mgrublian Center promotes human rights through public advocacy, service and education, providing practical experience through internships, task forces and research; and advancing scholarship in human rights, the Holocaust and genocide studies.
Many students interested in the Mgrublian Center are looking to “put their research into action,” said Joseph Zhong ’25, an Economics and Public Policy major, who co-hosts The Watchtower podcast. “Students want to hear about all of the opportunities,” he said. “It’s really exciting for them to hear what we offer.”
Tanzila Jamal ’26 attended the Open House to learn about CMC’s newly re-launched student-run Forum newspaper, which is being managed by the Salvatori Center. “I’ve learned that beyond the classroom, Salvatori is a great place to be involved,” she said.
In addition to overseeing the Forum newspaper, the Salvatori Center engages in the study of American Constitutionalism, the American Founding and political philosophy as it relates to liberal democracy, hosting events and a podcast.
Many of the CMC students who attended the Open House shared that working with the institutes was among their top reasons for picking Claremont McKenna.
“I’m an international relations major interested in getting involved in research, and learning how to conduct research, so I came out to learn more,” said Caren Ensing ’27. “I wrote about the institutes in my admission application. CMC’s emphasis on government, combined with offering a great liberal arts education, was the main draw.”